No. 25 women’s basketball (17–1, 5–0 Ivy League) makes its second Ivy League road trip of the season this weekend. The Tigers will take on Yale (15–4, 5–1 Ivy) tonight in New Haven and Brown (7–12, 1–5 Ivy) on Saturday in Providence.
Princeton will look to extend its current 13-game win streak at Yale. The Bulldogs suffered their first league loss to Harvard last weekend, snapping a school-record-tying eight-game streak. The Tigers have already taken down Harvard by 14 points this year. But Yale is still off to its best start in program history: the Bulldogs are only half of a game behind the Tigers, who sit atop the Ivy League standings.
Yale is led by senior guard Roxy Barahman, a First-Team All-Ivy League selection last year, who has averaged 17 points per game this season. The Bulldogs’ second leading scorer is Camilla Emsbo, a sophomore center who is the identical twin sister of Princeton’s Kira Emsbo. The sophomore, who averages 15.9 points per game, should provide a strong match-up for Princeton senior forward Bella Alarie, who currently leads the Ivy League in scoring, at 19.6 points per game.
On Tuesday, Alarie was named on the Women’s Citizen Naismith Trophy Watch List. No Ivy League player has ever won the trophy, which has been awarded since 1983. Alarie is also one of 10 finalists for the Katrina McClain Award, given annually to the nation’s best power forward.
On Saturday, Princeton will face the Brown Bears. Brown has struggled in the Ivy League so far this season. The Bears earned their first league win of the 2019–20 season a week ago at Dartmouth, defeating the Big Green 83–71. In that contest, Brown relied heavily on the scoring power of junior guard McKenna Dale, who posted a career-high 26 points and added 11 rebounds for a double-double, while also going a perfect eight for eight from the free throw line.
Brown will look to senior guard Justine Gaziano and sophomore forward Ashley Ducharme to round out the offensive attack against Princeton. It will, however, be a tall task for the Bears: Princeton is currently the nation’s number-one-ranked scoring defense, allowing opponents an average of just 48.5 points per game. The second-place scoring defense, allowing 50.8 points per game, belongs to the Baylor Lady Bears, who are listed at number two in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll.
The Tigers re-entered that same poll this week, coming in at number 25. The team had been ranked in both the USA Today/WBCA Coaches and AP polls in January, but fell out. Princeton also ranks 20th in the NCAA RPI, a tool that measures a team’s win/loss record and its strength of schedule.
Princeton looks to return to Jadwin Gymnasium with a still-perfect Ivy record. Following this weekend’s slate of games, the Tigers will have just seven left to play before the Ivy League Tournament, which will be hosted in Cambridge, Mass., at Lavietes Pavilion from March 13–15.
The 64-team field for the NCAA tournament will be selected on Monday, March 16, just one day after the Ivy Championship will be awarded. An invitation to the tournament would be Princeton’s ninth overall and fifth in the past six years.